What is Kirk Schulz’s “Drive to 25” plan, and what does it entail? What are the goals and provisions of the program? As it turns out, nobody really knows.
Confusion began to stem from the name of the program itself. In a survey conducted on campus on Oct. 16, a majority of students claimed they had never even heard of the program. When asked what they thought it might be, the responses varied across the board.
“It’s a plug to get more Uber drivers in Pullman, right?” said junior Julia Weston. “I know Pullman isn’t that big, but it’s still hard to get around without a car. I mean, the $350 parking fee for students is very affordable, but more Uber drivers would keep campus parking uncrowded.”
Mateo Gonzales, a freshman, had similar thoughts:
“ ‘Drive to 25’ is about getting designated drivers, right? I mean, I don’t drink,” he said, “but I’ve heard that some people might. Like, frat boys or whatever.”
When asked what he thought the 25 meant, Gonzales shrugged.
“Uh, maybe it’s about getting 25 designated drivers for every party?” he said. “Or 25 percent of the student population? Or maybe it’s a program to encourage students to be designated drivers until they are 25.”
“I think it’s a golf thing,” said student athlete Marie DiGianni. “It’s supposed to bring more publicity to the golf team. People who don’t play sports might not get it, though. A drive is a type of golf shot.”
A webpage dedicated to the project had the potential to clarify the idea. Unfortunately, phrases like “transformative educational experience” and “accelerate the development of a preeminent research portfolio” seemed to only add to the confusion.
What is a “transformative educational experience,” and what does it have to do with driving? WSU President Schulz agreed to an interview to help clear the air about the project’s main points.
“To tell you the truth,” Schulz said, “the whole thing was supposed to be a fun road trip. I was going to take the coolest faculty members across the country to 25 different states. I had it all mapped out and everything. We were going to end at Disney World!”
Schulz said he delegated the planning of the project to one of his HR representatives, who quickly lost all of the information regarding hotels and routes. Having not read any of the road trip plans, the representative made up a new project in hopes that Schulz would not notice.
“But of course I noticed,” Schulz said. “Now it’s not a radical road trip, it’s some dinky initiative to make WSU a top public research facility by 2030. Or something. But who cares? I don’t get to stay in Cinderella’s castle!”
While WSU is on track to become a top public research facility by 2030, Schulz has vowed that he will have his road trip before then.
Anna Young is a freshman creative writing major from Helena, Montana. She can be contacted at email@example.com.